But first, about my ass.
Yes, the black and blue one you see behind me.
I got hit by a snowboarder. I was sitting on a run resting with my son, and a kid hit me. I'm so glad he didn't hit my son, because that's the kind of thing that would frighten him off the slopes forever. Also, he hit me quite hard, but fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your preferences, I'm not one of those skinny-ass types, so we'll say he hit me hard in a, er, fleshy part of my physique. Probably spared me a broken bone or something. Put the fear of God into the kid (he was shaking ) and it happened so fast I didn't even hear him coming. If I had to guess, he was riding his toe edge and we were downslope of his blind side.
My Town Mondays
The coveted view of Mt Baldy.
Travis started a new series called My Town Mondays in which we write about our towns. I'll write about my main residence (fondly called Stepford) some other day, but today I'll post about Grand Lake, Colorado. Just a graph or two of rambling.
It's one of three (I think) towns in Colorado in which snowmobiles are street legal. They plow big snows, but generally let a hardpack form on the streets. I've been all over town on my sled, to the grocery store, to the lake, on the lake (if you lose your sled through the ice it's 1000 bucks a day until you fish 'er back out, and the lake is 265 feet deep, the deepest lake in Colorado) to the bar and to visit friends. I live right in town, so I walk or sled everywhere--rarely drive, especially in summer.
The view from the beach. In the above picture you
can see the damage from the Pine Beetle kill. That entire
mountainside is dead now.
Pine Bark Beetle is killing our trees--five types of pine trees in Colorado are subject to damage, and it's predicted all pine trees in Colorado will be dead within five years. No, it's not an exageration. Yes, it's an epidemic directly related to global warming. Most of the pine trees in town are already dead, and it's spreading through Grand County at an alarming rate. If you see live trees, it's because they're spraying, but that works only marginally well. This freaks me out because I have a dream sequence in my second book in which all the trees on the mountainside around Grand Lake die and fall into the lake. I wrote it five years ago before anyone ever heard of the Bark Beetle. Now it's really going to happen.
The lake was boiling because the woods surrounding it were on fire. Aidan felt a wave of confusion. Was this the fire from their house? No...that was almost two years ago.
He smelled woodsmoke and imagined the screams of the tree soldiers...only they were actually moving down the mountain, rushing down into the lake, trying to escape the flames that hissed through their bark and split their limbs. The boiling water overtook each one, silencing them all, and after a time Aidan sat alone on his boat, the water gurgling around him softly, and the heat rising around him. He climbed down to the floor of the boat, wrapped his arms around his knees, and stared around at the exposed mountainsides. They appeared taller than when treed, craggy and black and devastated, rising straight out of the bubbling water. Nothing was left but bare rock, the boiling lake, and himself.
Where was Kaelin? Where was his family? He huddled down inside the hull, ducked his head and wondered when they would come.